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Re: [Techs] CSS and invisible labels for forms

From: Gez Lemon <gl@juicystudio.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 23:59:53 +0100
Message-ID: <003601c49077$64d95850$1900a8c0@juicy.com>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
MessageFrom the IRC log of the 1 September tech call:

> 15:45:40 [wendy] = needed labels for field but didn't want to use visual lable.
> 15:45:45 [wendy] = jim uses title.

Relying on imparting information through the title alone would cause problems with the likes of JAWS. JAWS can be configured to read the title for images and links, but doesn't do so by default. I'm not sure whether the title can be read when applied to other elements, but I suspect not.

John Slatin wrote: 

> Cautionary note: is it a good idea to develop/recommend a CSS
> technique that depends on the screen reader picking up content
> that isn't supposed to be displayed? A "future" technique that
> used display:hidden plus an @media: reader might be interesting, 
> on the other hand...

Unfortunately, there are known problems with using display: none with screen readers [1], and from what I understand, the aural media selected is poorly supported with today's screen readers. It could be argued that poor support of standards is outside the jurisdiction of content developers, but if we're providing techniques, they should reflect the current state of the assistive technology market.

The technique proposed by Bob Easton in [1] is neat, but I would add overflow: hidden to the rule to ensure that text doesn't bleed into the display area:

.off-left
{
    position: absolute;
    left: -99em;
    width: 90em;
    overflow: hidden;
}

[1] http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=ScreenreaderVisibility

Best regards,

Gez
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Received on Wednesday, 1 September 2004 22:57:14 UTC

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